Stop over townsSunday 15 April 2007
|Paris (CompiÃ¨gne) > Roubaix - 259.5 km|
RoubaixRoubaix takes pride of place
For over a century, news of the Paris-Roubaix race has sped across the airwaves of the world, carrying with it the image of effort, determination and courage. And because the Hell of the North can lead to paradise, today the town of Roubaix offers much more than just the finishing line for those who take the time to discover it.
The 2nd largest town in the Nord-Pas de Calais region is proud to have turned a new page in its urban regeneration programme which is already bearing fruit, as proved by La Piscine (the Roubaix Museum of Art and Industry so named because of its setting in the building that formerly housed the public swimming baths), which has already made headlines around the world, its factory warehouses and a dynamic real estate market boosted by affordable and desirable properties (loft apartments, town houses, environmentally friendly housing, etc.).
Roubaix is a town that keeps its sights firmly set on the rest of the world and on new technologies, and has consequently attracted a competitive textile industry, and many well known and up and coming companies in marketing, communication and distance selling. What else does it have to offer? The town is a recognised centre of creativity and initiative in the world of fashion and textile creation with its fashion district known as the â€˜Quartier des Modesâ€™.
Roubaix is back in business. Its industrial heritage is a national example and attracts tourists from far and wide. It has been classed as a Town of Art and History and is concentrating on making culture available to all thanks to a network of nationally renowned structures and facilities (Le ColisÃ©e Concert Hall, rehabilitation of La Condition Publique factory into a cultural centre, the National Choreographic Centre Nord Pas de Calais directed by Carolyn Carlson, Urban Dance, etc.).
In the world of sport, the variety and quality of the facilities allow the town to regularly host top level competitions in a number of different disciplines (cycling, fencing, martial arts, football, etc.). As well as its 22 indoor sports complexes and 20 outdoor sports arenas, the town will soon be home to the future regional indoor velodrome.
CompiÃ¨gneCompiÃ¨gne and the Paris-Roubaix cycling race,
a 30 year old love affair!
The town of CompiÃ¨gne loves the Paris-Roubaix event, and it shows! Since 1977, the cobblestone square named after townâ€™s Castle has heralded the bumpy start of the cycling race affectionately known as the Hell of the North, giving the pack a small taste of what lies ahead.
In celebration of this anniversary, several special events will be held over the weekend to pay tribute to this lasting partnership.
Choisy-au-Bac in particular has decided, on Friday the 13th of April, to pay tribute to one of its famous residents, AndrÃ© MahÃ©, winner of the Â« Queen of the Classics Â» in 1949. On this occasion The Friends of Paris-Roubaix will award him the winnerâ€™s cobblestone trophy.
Collectors and enthusiasts are in for a treat with the â€˜Cyclist Bourseâ€™, a real Ali Babaâ€™s cave full of treasures explaining the history of the bicycle, organised by the CompiÃ¨gne Sports Office on the Saturday morning at the Paul-Petitpoisson Stadium in CompiÃ¨gne.
From Saturday afternoon onwards, itâ€™s back to the present: a presentation of the riders, the starting line and a night time cycling race for all categories of cyclists, are just some of the rituals that await the cycling fans in CompiÃ¨gne.
And on Sunday, the crowds will be there yet again, for the 31st time, with the same enthusiasm and loyalty for the race.
Loyalty is the word that best describes the relationship between CompiÃ¨gne and Paris-Roubaix; having welcomed the race no less than thirty one times, CompiÃ¨gne holds the record in terms of hosting one of the classic races in cycling.
Cobblestone by the artist Mahdjoub Ben Bella - Photo: S. Jarry
Photo: A. Loubry â€“ Roubaix Town
Photo: A. Loubry â€“ Roubaix Town
CompiÃ¨gne hosts the start of Paris-Roubaix 2006
CompiÃ¨gne Castle (photo POIRIER)
The Empressâ€™s chamber. CompiÃ¨gne Castle (photo POIRIER)